Take it from Kate Robards: Art ain’t for the faint of heart!
Kate Robards is an award-winning writer and performer based in New York City. Kate’s play trilogy Mandarin Orange, Ain’t That Rich, and PolySHAMory have racked up awards and performances across the country and abroad. Kate is a graduate of UCB improv and the one-year professional acting program at The Barrow Group. She performs stand up and improv regularly in New York City, and has a standup series called Strawberry Milk. It’s just as good as it sounds.
Buy tickets to the monthly Strawberry Milk: A Standup Comedy Show on 7/26 here!
What advice do you have for how to level up from open mics to actual spots?
Start your own show and book the people you love the most! Know that there is no right or wrong path to making your way in comedy. It is just sticking with it!
On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young female comedian?
Allow yourself to change, always.
Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian?
Lauren Weedman. Even though she doesn’t identify as just a comedian, she’s a performer, writer, actors and she’s hilarious. I saw her solo show BUST at Studio Theatre years ago and was blown away by her work. The comedy and drama of it all made me say, I want to do that. Plus she’d written this hilarious book “A Woman Trapped in a Woman’s Body.” I was and continue to be in awe of her and her work.
How has being funny helped you in your offstage life?
I waited tables and worked in restaurants in high school and undergrad. I was literally using my personality and jokes for tips.
Favorite response to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy”?
Fun! I’ve found strength in my fellow female comedians. I have started two female helmed comedy shows in NYC. I love it!
Describe your worst gig.
I’ve bombed a lot. I don’t beat myself up about it and instead I just celebrate every time I get on stage. I constantly remind myself ART AIN’T FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. Yes, comedy is art.
Best comedy advice you ever got?
Trust your instinct. Your jokes may not work initially but don’t abandon them. Tweak your premise and see how you can get the audience. Trust yourself.
Worst comedy advice you ever got?
You should wear sweatshirts. Don’t dress like you dress because women won’t laugh at you because they’ll be jealous that their date wants you not them. Of course this was from a male comedy club owner.
When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?
I’m still coming up, but my most essential trick to stick with comedy is to surround myself with good, kind people who believe in me and encourage me. This is crucial. There are some people who don’t get it. You can love them, but put your blinders on to negativity. My mom wrote me an inspiring email that has become a mantra after I was a finalist for Sundance Episodic Lab but was ultimately rejected. I have it memorized. The subject was- Keep on truckin’ The body of the email just said, “You are strong and work hard. You are in a business that does not necessarily reward being good. Much of it is based on luck, a twist of fate, or something strange that cannot be planned. Keep on going. Adjust when you need to. Remember to be kind to yourself a well as others. Love you”
Favorite response to a heckler or troll?
Thanks for listening, contributing, coming. If you want me to work with you on your performance, I do coach aspiring comics and performers. Hit me up after!
Kate Robards is an award-winning writer and performer based in New York City. Kate’s play trilogy Mandarin Orange, Ain’t That Rich, and PolySHAMory have racked up awards and performances across the country and abroad. Kate is a graduate of UCB improv and the one-year professional acting program at The Barrow Group. She performs stand up and improv regularly in New York City. She performs a monthly standup series called Strawberry Milk. Buy tickets to the monthly Strawberry Milk: A Standup Comedy Show on 7/26 here.